Room Temperature Defluorination of Poly(tetrafluoro)ethylene by a Magnesium Reagent



Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are now pervasive in the environment. The largest single use material within the PFAS compound class is poly(tetrafluoro)ethylene) (PTFE), a robust and chemically resistant polymer. Despite their widespread use and serious concerns about their role as pollutants, methods for repurposing PFAS are rare. Here we show that a nucleophilic magnesium reagent reacts with PTFE at room temperature, generating a molecular magnesium fluoride which is easily separated from the surface-modified polymer. The fluoride in turn can be used to transfer the fluorine atoms to a small array of compounds. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that the atomic fluorine content of PTFE can be harvested and re-used in chemical synthesis.


Supplementary material

Supplementary Information
Experimental Procedures, details of computational
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